American Deluxe Jazz / Pbass ground hum noise problem solved

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mikecd1, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. mikecd1


    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    I've tried the Jazz and Precision bass American Deluxe basses and they are awesome instruments, but many are laden with ground noise and some even crackle. Thanks to this forum (and a brain-picking session with my tech Dan at DGN Guitars while my 5 string bass was in his shop for a coil-tap switch for the MM pickup on my Cort GB75) I got on board with suggestions how to shield my electronics. I bought an ADP, had a problem and returned it and then had the same problem on the next one so I called Fender and later read here about how they helped other members with their hum problems. They wanted me to take it to a regional service facility. After opening the control cavity it was no surprize to find no shielding whatsoever. Same thing under the rear J pickup. If I took my hands off the strings the noise was unbelievable and made worse if you were playing and accidentally touched the poles on the J pickup. That was some really wild hum! Anyway, someone here suggested in one of the threads using the conductive shielding paint and it made sense to me since I know my older deluxe Jazz basses had that. Apparently Fender forgot to shield all these new basses (sure they did) and a recall is certainly imminent. Rather than wait I bought the paint from Stewmac and used a hair dryer in between coats - you need a minimum of three coats. That speeded up the paint process. My tech said NOT to paint inside the jack cavity - risk of grounding wrong wires he said. Anyway, got that all done and back together and the bass was better, but not perfect. Having already had this problem on my modded Jazz bass I opted to install a brass cavity ground plate I bought from darren riley (he stocks ALL Fender parts and ships same day priority). One solder connection to the cavity ground and the plate underneath the rear J pickup was installed. My bass is dead quiet and I am enjoying it for the first time. If your Jazz bass still has some hum after shielding I would suggest a brass cavity grounding plate under both pickups. You might accomplish the same thing by grounding the pole pieces with a strip of copper and a wire to the cavity ground. That was also suggested here. I had no problem with the Pbass pup so I opted not to install the grouding plate under that pup. Since mine ain't broke anymore I'm not fixing anything else. I am grooving and happy I did not change the pickups or preamp out. This cost me about $40 in parts and is IMHO the best alternative out there if you like your new instrument. These are the best suggestions I could find, they worked and I hope they will help others end their frustration and begin their bass bliss.
    mikeyjm2 likes this.
  2. JLiRD808


    Dec 7, 2011
    So will this work for a Yamaha style p-bass?

    Sorry Im kinda noob to grounding stuff.

  3. mikecd1


    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    Cavity grounding should work with most active systems with no copper or other shielding. Always a good idea especially if hum is present. I'm not the expert and there are others here with more experience with this, but this worked well for me.
  4. bassjigins


    Jun 18, 2006
    Thanks for this thread, I'm having the same problem with my ADJB

    Do I have to shield the battery cavity as well?
  5. mikecd1


    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    You are very welcome and I'm so glad that its helping someone. I did shield my battery compartment as well. From some of the pics I've seen on Ebay of deluxe series bodies for sale it looks like a lot of the newer J&P bodies have some sort of shielding so it looks like Fender got the message. Good info for any active bass with hum problems though...
  6. girlonbass


    Apr 3, 2009
    Hi mikecd1,

    This is fabulous. I bought an American Deluxe Jazz V a few weeks ago and I love it... except the noise. I'm actually considering taking it back to the shop to return it tomorrow, but this may be the solution I need.

    It really sucks that a company as big as Fender can build something like this, sell bazillions of them and never fix the problem.

    Thank you for your research and detailed explanation!:)


  7. Hyper-sloth

    Hyper-sloth Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2008
    Tampa, FL
  8. mikecd1


    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    Totally agree. I did try one recently in Sam Ash though that had no hum so perhaps they're getting on track. If you really like the feel and sound when its not humming, this is a good alternative. If you're not madly in love, I'd take it back.
  9. girlonbass


    Apr 3, 2009
  10. cmuellemann


    Sep 8, 2012
    I finally recieved my Fender American Deluxe5-String Jazz Bass! When I recieved the call from my local Fender dealer that it had arrived I was ecstatic. I had waited forever to get it. Getting it home however and once I hooked it to my practice amp (A GK 1001 RB) that ecstacy started to fade. I noticed a definate hiss every time I touched the strings and worst of all an intermitent crackle. I then tried it though my concert amp set up GK 2001 RB )and it produced the same sounds. I changed instrument cord. I only use Monster cables but thought hey one could have gone bad (though I'd never had that happen with these cables) that wasn't it. I tried to record with this bass. Same problem only very much more pronounced. I was not able to use this bass for recording! I read the articles here about sheilding but after waiting so long and paying so much I wasn't about to finish off what Fender should have done in the first place. I took my deluxe back to the store I purchase it from and let their tech take a look. Suprize sheilding...whatsoever! What a crock especially from an American company! Well the tech talked to Fender. Fender took two weeks to figure out what they wanted to do about it and since it was a new bass they offered to replace it. I opted for that but if I had only known. Initially Fender said they would have a new bass back to me in two weeks. It's been a month now and the place where I purchased this just called and said that Fender had just called them and they were told it could be yet another month! This is my third deluxe and I have owned mostly Fenders my whole life and to be fair I have never had a problem with any of them. Maybe I'm lucky! I almost wish now that I had hung on to that deluxe and had sheilded it myself as I would have been back to using it by now. I just wanted everyone to know the downside of not repairing this problem yourself. It's funny...I've even had a Mexican Deluxe Jazz in the past and that was quiet as a mouse. I'm not sure what's happening to Fender America's quality control. I mean this is why you by American right? Things can happen I guess but when they do at least you'd think a company like Fender would step up and replace these A.S.A.P. when these problems arise. It seems the least they can do after they make you wait so long in the first place availability wise but Fender has no sense of urgency in my case. None at all. I guess that's what happens when they already have your money!
  11. mikecd1


    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    I'm actually a little surprized because back in May played a new four string deluxe P that was dead quiet. My only advice is if you find one that you really like the feel of, then hold onto it and shield it yourself. There are various threads here about people who went through months and months of exchanges and waiting for "repairs" and they only ended up frustrated. Inconsistency is now a part of the build process I guess. Sorry about your experience and hope it gets better. Please keep us posted on how you make out and I wish you the best of luck with it. The sheilding is not a big deal and just be neat and it should work fine if you decide to go that route.
  12. girlonbass


    Apr 3, 2009
    The problem with the lack of noise rejection through lack of shielding is that you'll only notice the problem when you are in an electrically noisy environment. In the old days before digital electronics we used to repair radio transceivers in copper lined rooms. These rooms were electrically dead quiet.

    These basses have no shielding. So if you are standing out in a corn field somewhere you not going to had much chance of hum. But if you are standing next to a neon sign, the hum will drown out your playing. Real playing situations can be anywhere in between.

    I took my Jazz in and had it professionally shielded. It cost mabye $60.00 It's much better now.

    In my view I can't see why an instrument approaching $2000.00 wouldn't take this in to consideration.

  13. mikecd1


    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    Dave Meadows at Audere has a suggestion on his site about using copper foil on the bottom of the piickups and soldering a grounding wire from there into the main ground (Fender usually screws that into the cavity imder the pickguard of the neck pickup or in the case of P under the split coil). If you have two pups, that's pieces of copper foil and two wires into the main ground. I've used that suggestion in a Jazz bass that was preamp equipped and it worked very well. I think Nordstrand routinely has copper foil under their pups and included a wire in their pickup wiring for that specific ground. All of these will help, but completely agree with Terri that for a 2k list price, I expect this and they've always done it in the past. More evidence of the corporate world looming in the Fender psyche. Pretty scary for the future if the stockholders drive the quality down and I know their stock isn't what they want it to be....
  14. Lync

    Lync Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Yup, that is why I returned my AmDlx Jazz V.

  15. rjlionheart


    Apr 28, 2012
    I just bought a Fender Jaco Pastorius Signature Fretless Jazz Bass and was totally disappointed in the howling hum coming from the guitar when I go with the bridge pickup only. Two other issues - the tongue of the fingerboard is slightly curved up at the very end, so the action is about .031" higher than it should be when the tech set it up at the store (hardly a problem). One of the latches on the case barely works. This is on a guitar that MSRP's for $2400. What a shame. The guitar feels , plays and sounds so beautifully, though, it gives me goosebumps. The neck is like silk and velvet. I will definitely do a shielding job on it. As a matter of principle, I'm probably going to request a different guitar because of the neck issue.

    Should I "paint" it and put copper tape in it also?
  16. Metania


    Oct 15, 2011
    I hate food!
    How do you ground the poles? Not sure abt you guys, but my pups are waxed underneath!
  17. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I have an MIA Jazz Deluxe. When I practice through a headphone amp I get a lot of hum but when I play it through my SVT it is very quiet. I guess I got lucky.
  18. mikecd1


    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    You can ground the poles by taking a strip of copper foil and attaching to the bottom of the pickup poles with a wire going to ground. I think most nordstrand pickups (with alnico poles anyway) have a foil strip with a ground wire as do a lot of the Duncans now. Works very well. I've grounded some noisy pups doing that and shielding the cavity. Good luck.
  19. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    You only need to do one or the other. Each have their advantages and disadvantages. Paint is usually easier to install and doesn't come loose and rattle like copper foil does sometimes with age, but in my experience sometimes paint just doesn't work right, while copper ALWAYS works.

    My MIM deluxe jazz V had some hum (not real bad). So I took a look. It had paint in it. (eat your hearts out you MIA guys :) So to get rid of that last bit of hum I did a copper foil job. Yup. Quiet as a mouse now. Also did my Squier P/J which wasn't shielded at all. I can understand cutting corners on some "entry" instrument, but on a MIA costing a couple grand? What are these guys thinking?

    When I start forking out the big cash for basses I expect to find shielding that works. Sure it can be paint (a number of my expensive basses have paint). But IF you put paint in there I'd expect that the factory would TEST it to make sure it's working. Don't they play them before they go out the door? A guy listening to basses all day ought to be able to tell a hummer from the first second he plugs it in. This kind of stuff is like my Chinese "harmonia" AGB with one tuner shaft shorter than the rest and the Piezo pickup that somehow isn't under the B string.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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